Insomnia

Today, the entire family was awake at 3 a.m. This is a typical wake time for K, as of late, when Falco starts bopping around and hunger pangs begin. Usually, if he gets up, eats a snack and watches something on television, he’s able to eventually get back to sleep.

Not so for me this morning. Even with the heaviest duty prescription sleep aids, I’m typically only able to sleep in three-hour blocks, which last night translated to:

  • Meds round 1, 9 p.m.
  • Sleep, 9:30 p.m. to midnight
  • Meds round 2, midnight-ish
  • Sleep, 12:30 to 3 a.m.

After a snack and DVR’d television show, I tried to go back to bed with K, but sleep has proven elusive. I know that I’ll be able to sleep again later, but it usually requires several hours of awake time first.

I think that anxiety around baby preparedness is making sleep particularly difficult right now. When I allow myself an opportunity to take a step back and evaluate where we’re at with preparations, I feel like we’re in good shape. We have secured the vast majority of necessities, and when I really analyze it, I think that the vastness of the remaining wait time is what’s really eating at me. It’s sending me into a bit of a tailspin, filling my days with worry about the unknown, the what if’s, the frenzied pace of nothingness.

I know that I’m much calmer when I feel like I have a sense of control and am working toward small projects. With that in mind, I made a large, long-awaited purchase – a chest freezer – and plan to spend some of March and April preparing meals that can be frozen and easily reheated when Falco makes a debut. Doing something practical and useful will help to refocus some of this nervous energy.

Oddly enough, even with this maelstrom of anxiety, I feel like I’m fairly practical when it comes impending parenthood. I know that no matter how many tasks I feel I’ve completed, no matter how many BabyCenter to-do lists I’ve owned, no one is ever fully prepared for motherhood. Yes, our little one will have the majority of what every expert deems to be a necessity for infancy, but at the end of the day, as a friend so eloquently said, we will be bringing home a “tiny, demanding stranger.” Falco will have an endless list of needs and very little ability to communicate what they are, and it’s our job as parents to trust our instincts and jump in with both feet. I feel strangely confident that we’ll be okay… if only we could get to the damn finish line.

A lot of so-called mommy bloggers describe hitting a wall in their pregnancies. There comes a time in which you are just so damn over it and want to give birth already. I never realized that this could happen as a non-gestational partner, too, but whoa. I. Am. There. Of course, Falco still needs time to grow and develop. Our Little definitely needs to get fatter, too, because skinny babies just aren’t cute.

Veteran parents, what advice do you have? What do you wish you’d focused on before your first little one made an appearance?

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7 thoughts on “Insomnia

  1. I disagree – I think there is preparation for motherhood… and you seem totally prepared! The only things you really need are diapers, clothes, a food source, shelter, you arms. You need patience, but for us, I found that the “needing patience” really didn’t kick in until several weeks in – newborns are so helpless, their cries so mild, their needs so basic that the first couple weeks were, to me, monotony in care completely broken up by the awesome glow of this brand new person (and tons of visitors!).

    My best advice, as hard as it will sound when you are antsy for it to just happen already, is to take the time to do things you can do as a twosome that will be different (but not impossible, like some try to assert) as a threesome. Go to the movies (I am not a movie person and a I still miss being able to just go to a movie). Go to dinner or lunch, Cook a meal without simultaneously worrying about the needs of someone else. Listen to the radio in the car as loud as you want. Go to festivals and parties and gatherings of all types and relish taking care of just you. All of these things seem to scream “because you won’t do it again” (or at least that’s how they are usually packaged) and I want to emphasize: you will do anything you want again. It will be different, though, with more thought and decision to it, so enjoy this time and this space of not need to plan at all.

    It will get here, I promise!

  2. The best advice I can give you is to enjoy your alone (just the two of you) time right now as well as the sleep you are getting (in spite of the insomnia). Each time I am pregnant, I get so antsy toward the end (“over being pregnant” as you put it). I want the baby to arrive so much–not just because my body is aching and weary, but because I want to meet and hold the baby. But every time the birth arrives and I’m on all night and all day duty once again, I wish I’d savored and enjoyed my sleep (and even the rest without sleep) more fully. Funny thing is, however, that at 30 weeks pregnant once again, here I am bemoaning the fact that I have ten weeks left and begging for it to be over just as you are! I am trying to remind myself of the same things I just told you.

  3. I obsessed over every tiny little thing we needed for Harper, and when we didn’t get every item off the registry, I went out 9 months pregnant to buy the rest! Totally unnecessary! What did I need a bumbo for!? They can’t even sit in them until like 4 months! Why did I NEED baby oragel?! No teeth until 8 months old! (although it WAS nice to already have it in our medicine chest) As long as you have a bed, diapers and wipes- you’re prepared until you meet your baby and know the details of what baby actually needs vs. what you’d like to have to feel prepared. That being said, I’m still getting things we don’t need at 8 months pregnant with our second. The nesting thing is no joke. The wall is also no joke. They told us our boy is 6 lbs and I’m totally fine with him coming anytime now even though it’s not “time”. The wall will make you think crazy things like that. Get some sleep if you can!!!

  4. I’d say focus on strengthening and enjoying your relationship, just the two of you (Well, when K isn’t fast asleep). I’m betting you have the baby basics well covered by now, and the rest really can be solved with falco in arms. What’s harder to get once falco arrives is relaxed time with K, complete with long uninterrupted conversations. Also sleep. So knock it off with the worrying (I say as a pro-worrier myself). You two have got this.

  5. Pingback: Tomorrow | maybe a new leaf

  6. What I wish I had done is not focus so much on the pregnancy that I forget myself and my partner. After the baby is here you will have next to no time to be together or be alone. I wish I had spent time with myself and with my partner.

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